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Found out the wife can handle a J frame wheel gun in 38 caliber. Now to choice.
S&W Airweight, S&W Bodyguard or a Ruger LCR. Another question how is the laser on the S&W Bodyguard activated ? The gun must be hammerless. A local gunsmith said he can make the action & trigger easy for her on a 38.

Thanks--Phil Berkowitz
 

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I had the opportunity at our club to shoot all three plus a few others and bought the Ruger LCR. It felt the best and the trigger pull was the lightest of the bunch. My wife loves the gun also.
 

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My wife and I are both looking for carry guns. Got our Handgun Carry Permits in June. Took her over to the area dealer with the largest selection of handguns. Had already decided to go with a handgun with a shrouded hammer or bobbed hammer.

Wife did not like the grips on most of the J-frames or the Ruger LCR as they are too short for her to control. Also there is a decision to be made on how light a handgun my wife can control. I know concealed carry guns are made to be carried a lot and shot a little but touching off a 11.5 to 13 ounce alloy frame handgun with a good defensive load in it could be interesting. And she will need to practice with the gun. We both decided on the stainless steel frame Model 649 S & W .357. It has a longer grip frame and my wife determined the 649 at 23 ounces empty was not too heavy to carry. Smith & Wesson also has a $50 rebate on some of the small frame revolvers. Both of our 649's will get an action job from a very experienced handgun gunsmith (as all of our other revolvers have gotten). Wife will have a good .38 Special defensive load in her 649.

Now comes the real hard part; her picking out a concealed carry purse that she can carry and get to her gun easily. My wife is used to carrying a purse on one shoulder but is thinking of using a purse that the strap goes across the body to make the purse harder to snatch and steal.

DoubleAuto
 

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Phil, make sure the gunsmith has the experience to work on S&W actions. The smaller the gun, the more it needs a heavier main spring, because the hammer has less mass. You can get a lighter trigger pull on an N frame like a 44 Mag than you can on a J frame like the Bodyguard because the N frame has a lot more hammer mass for striking the primer.

Another consideration is practice. S&W makes .22 LR revolvers on the J frame. The older models are the Model 34 Kit Gun, and its stainless counterpart the Model 63. (My wife has a Model 63.) Used ones can still be found. Currently S&W makes a Model 317 and Model 43, both of which are lightweight. (I prefer the older steel models.) Any of these would allow a lot of practice with the less expensive .22 LR cartridge. I did the same thing, though on the larger K frames, with a Model 19 357 and Model 18 .22 LR. You could shoot ten times as much .22 ammo as .38 in those days for the same amount of money, and with a lot less recoil to boot. While larger, another consideration is to get her a good used K frame like the Model 17 in 4" or 6", or the Model 18 in 4", for practice.
 

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Don't forget there are lots of great aftermarket grip options for the J frame S&W. I have a slightly oversized rubber grip with finger grooved front that makes the little smith more controlable. This is especially handy in the airweight models that roll up in your hand under recoil. For defense, I always liked the 110 grain Federal hollowpoints. They have a gentle recoil, minimal muzzle flash and open up like an ash tray. The 125 gr remington defense rounds are pretty easy to shoot in a snub nose also. They are limited in penetration, but for self defense, you are not trying to shoot through car doors and windshields anyway. Good Luck
 

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The gun will have to worn on her person, (she never carries a purse), in her car & in the house. She wants a Crimson Trace. It looks like she'll be getting a 340PD with the CT.

Thanx-Phil Berkowitz
 

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I just bought a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38 four days ago. The Laser Sight is activated by a button on top of the Laser sight. The laser has a pulse feature as well as the beam.

I had to adjust the Laser beam to get the gun to shoot to the point.

I think I am going to like it real well even though the trigger pull is a bit heavy compared to my S & W Model 66 that I have.

Allen
 

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S&W makes a five shot 38 sp. with laser sight in the grip and activated by a small button on the bottom front of the grip. Perfect for women or small carry.
 

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I picked up a S & W 380 Bodyguard with the laser last week for the wife as her new carry gun. We made a trip to the range the next day and I sold it yesterday at the gun show. She has been carrying a S&W 442 with the Crimson Trace grips and they are far superior to the laser on the Bodyguard. The Bodyguard laser needs to be turned on with your non-shooting hand and the safety was imposable for her to move without looking down at the gun.

With the 442 and the Crimson Trace grips it is just point and shoot no messing with anything.

Jim R
 

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You can smooth out a S&W revolver trigger, and reduce the weight of the trigger pull without compromising it's reliability. HMB
 

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Wife and I both bought the LCR's. I usually carry my xd40sc but the Ruger is sweet. At 10 yds I have seen very few men who can match my wifes groups, she amazes me and I struggle just to compete with her. She soaks up recoil like a sponge even with my .45 single action she is tough. I had the 638 and it was fine too. I vote for the LCR.
 

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Look at the lite weight 357 mags, She can practice with 38's all day and load 357 mag when she's carrying.

If you or she thinks it will ever have to be pulled on a scumbag, the 357 is going to do a better number on the dirtbag!

If that ever happens, she'll never notice the recoil deference.
 
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